THE Embassy of Canada in Zimbabwe yesterday called for dialogue to promote peace in the country following the disputed July 30 elections, while also calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to rectify a number of electoral challenges noted by observers.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
In a statement yesterday on last week’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling which confirmed Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa as winner, Canada also called for the implementation of human rights and economic reforms.
“All political parties campaigned on platforms which acknowledged the need for a process of on-going reforms, including political, electoral, human rights and economic reforms,” the statement said.
“Indeed, all observer missions, domestic and international, have pointed to the need to rectify a number of systematic challenges to the electoral process, and we call on the new government to move quickly to formulate a plan to identify and enact reforms based on discussions with all Zimbabweans.”
The statement came at a time when the European Union also demanded that Mnangagwa’s government must investigate all human rights abuses during the electoral period, as well as calling on all Zimbabweans to respect the ConCourt verdict and to exercise calm and restraint.
“The recent increase in politically-motivated human rights violations, including some acts of post-electoral retribution, is unacceptable. All cases need to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. The fundamental rights of all citizens need to be respected and the physical integrity and safety of the victims and witnesses protected,” the EU said.
Despite the elections having ended, Zimbabwe continues to record post-electoral violence, with some rural opposition supporters in Mashonaland East and Central provinces being targeted by Zanu PF supporters, despite Mnangagwa having called for peace and tolerance.
Other cases of post-electoral violence included the street demonstrations by members of the MDC Alliance over presidential election results, which ended up with soldiers opening live ammunition on unarmed civilians and killing seven people.
MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti was also roughed up at the Zambian border, as he tried to escape alleged persecution by Zimbabwean authorities.
“The electoral process revealed improvements as well as challenges. A truly inclusive approach is the key to designing and implementing reforms that stand the test of time. It is important that the new government engages all stakeholders in substantive discussions on the necessary reforms, including on further electoral reforms,” the EU said.